Food Tool Friday: The Best Lunchboxes for Kids & Adults Alike

The Best Lunchboxes for Kids & Adults Alike

Bringing lunch to work or school is a win-win situation. You save money, you eat better, and you create less waste. But while the virtues of brown-bagging it are undeniable, it also gets kind of boring after a while. How many times can you shove a container of salad or noodles into an insulated sack before you say screw it and buy a $12 burrito for lunch instead?

Enter the PlanetBox Rover. This stainless steel lunchbox is sturdy, attractive, and inspires people to pack all kinds of healthy, interesting meals. See for yourself:

(1) BBQ chicken and fruit and vegetables. (2) Valentine's Day kid's lunch. (3) Breakfast time: quinoa porridge and fruit and veggie crudite. Images by Wendy Copley/Flickr, Melissa/Flickr, Larissa Brown/Flickr

It's suitable for kids and adults, too. Check out this lunch from Deb Perelman (aka Smitten Kitchen) over at Food52. (Technically she made it for her son, but I'd argue that kid has pretty sophisticated tastes—I'd happily eat this.)

Image by Deb Perelman/Food52

This lunchbox comes in a variety of sizes. The PlanetBox Shuttle is designed for small meals and snacks (and comes with a lidded container).

Image via PlanetBox

The PlanetBox Rover has several compartments, two lidded containers, and is designed for a more complete meal (it can hold about 4.5 cups of food).

Image via PlanetBox

The PlanetBox Launch (with one lidded container) is designed for those with bigger appetites (it can hold 6.5 cups of food, or a three-course meal).

Image via PlanetBox

All three versions are dishwasher safe and come in recycled washable polyester bags for easy carrying. You can get the complete specs for each version here. (You should also check out the Food Librarian's post on why she loves her Planetbox Rover as well as some inspired photography of what she packs in them.)

Keep in mind that these lunchboxes aren't cheap ($39.95 to 79.95 at the time of this writing on Amazon), but they are sturdy and will last you a while.

I conducted an informal survey of people I know who bought one (three commuters who all bought Rovers, one mom with two kids who have Shuttles) and they uniformly loved the boxes and used them regularly. A couple of people mentioned that the lunchboxes were inspiring and encouraged them to pack healthy lunches regularly. One of the commuters, who is a dedicated cook, says she uses her Rover model to help her organize her mise en scene when she preps food, too.

Get More Food Tool Friday

Food Tool Friday keeps you informed about the must-have kitchen gadgets out there, from a personal, portable beer keg to Pancakebot, the world's first pancake printer.

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Cover image via PlanetBox

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